Trigger warning: This post contains details of specific crimes that are related to sexual assault and murder.
In 1992, an 84-year-old grandmother was brutally assaulted and killed in California. For 25 years, the mystery of her death went unsolved—and her killer unapprehended—due to the lack of physical evidence to tie him to the crime. Twenty-five years later, police paid a visit to a pizza party where they found sufficient evidence to arrest her murder.
At first glance, the murder and the pizza party seem unrelated. However, there is a link: familial DNA. Familial DNA testing has traditionally been used for a multitude of reasons, such as to identify potential genetic predispositions and to structure family trees. However, with advancements in technology, law enforcement agencies are now utilizing familial DNA testing to identify serial killers. San Diego police found a familial DNA connection suggesting a biological brother was responsible for the 1992 rape and murder of 84-year-old Angela Kleinsorge. In order to confirm that the DNA belonged to the suspect, police went undercover to a birthday party and collected Lonnie Franklin’s leftover pizza crust and utensils. The DNA was a match, and Franklin was arrested a mere two hours later. He was eventually tied to ten murders and has since been suspected of more. He is now known as the “Grim Sleeper.” (more…)